Miami-Dade County

Miami’s Moss endured riots, shootings, suicide of a commissioner

Miami police Maj. Delrish Moss
Miami police Maj. Delrish Moss

Miami Police Maj. Delrish Moss, 51, has spent his entire career at the Miami Police Department, within walking distance of where he was born and raised in Overtown.

Soft-spoken and often a calming voice during turbulent times, Moss has turned down several pushes to run for elected office. Set to retire from the Miami police department in September after a 32-year career, he is seeking a final challenge: Repairing a battered police department in Ferguson, Missouri, as its new police chief.

Here are some of his highlights:

▪  Born in Overtown in 1964, Moss graduated from Miami Senior High School in 1982.

▪  Spurred by a confrontation with a Miami police officer who Moss said pulled him over and harassed him for no reason, Moss joined Miami police as a public service aide in 1984.

▪  In 1987 he became a uniformed officer, patrolling predominately black neighborhoods in Overtown, Lemon City, Allapattah and Coconut Grove.

▪  He joined homicide in 1989, the same year riots erupted in the inner city with the shooting death of motorcyclist Clement Lloyd by Miami police officer William Lozano, who was found guilty of using excessive force but cleared at retrial in 1993.

▪  By 1995, Moss was approached by Miami’s legendary communications director Bill Schwartz and police chief Donald Warshaw and asked to join the public information office. At first he was hesitant.

▪  As a public information officer, Moss was one of Miami’s most recognizable faces during the eight-month saga of young Cuban rafter Elian Gonzalez that ended in June 2000, and after Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele Jr. shot and killed himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald in July 2005.

▪  In 2009 Police Chief John Timoney promoted Moss to his executive assistant.

▪  By 2011 Police Chief Manuel Orosa promoted Moss to major, in charge of community and media relations. He’s held that position ever since.

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